Most people who love animals don’t believe or support euthanasia making no kill shelters their first pick when looking for a new addition to their family. However, due to the alarming rate of animals surrendered to county run shelters, euthanasia can not be prevented. Most of the animals that are put to sleep are not done so based on over crowding alone. Animals that are seriously ill, or are in their golden years top the chart. These animals find their way into shelters for various reasons. For some their owners can not afford vet care, or they don’t want to watch their pet suffer so they pass it off to someone else. For others their owners just wasn’t ready for the responsibility or cost that comes with pet ownership.
I decided my family was ready for a dog. My first stop was my local animal control. It is a kill shelter, but for each animal adopted, that is another animal saved. I was amazed as I walked through the kennels looking at the eyes of these sadden dogs. There was a countless amount to choose from, and each one had potential. When I first arrived I expected to see large mixed breed dogs with bad behavior issues. What I found was a large variety of dogs ranging from mixed breeds to pure breed, from large to toy, and with individual personalities. I had to ask myself why would anyone buy from the paper when so many shelter animals needed homes. And more importantly why would anyone breed their dog? That’s when Rocky caught my eye.
Rocky was a male chi-weenie who was just over a year old. He was small, and very skinny but somehow I knew Rocky was the one I’d been looking for. At the time he only weighed eight pounds, and had not been fixed yet. His past is was a little shady, all they could tell me is that the person who turned him in changed their story from “we can no longer keep him” to “I found him this morning” after a comment was made about his weight.
Before I could take Rocky home he would have to be fixed which meant I had to wait a few days. I called a few hours after his surgery, and check-up, and was delighted when I was told that Rocky was doing great. The next day I went back to get him, and his whole personality changed. He went from sickly, and shy to perky, and proud. Rocky new he was going home. We have had Rocky for two years now, and he’s the best dog in the world. Rocky now weighs 12.9 pounds, and is full of energy. He loves kids, as well as other animals. How could anyone not want him, and why would anyone let him get into the shape he was in? These are questions that will never be answered, but he’s in a great home now.
There are advantages to adopting an animal from a shelter kill or no kill. Here are a few advantages, as well as disadvantages.
Most kill shelters do not have enough staff or time to play with each animal individually everyday. There for some of the animals lack “people skills”. Shelters which are “no kill” usually have foster homes, and volunteers to work with the animals daily.
Most kill shelters do not have the funding or staff to run personality test on each animal. Issues such as food aggression, or animal aggression might show up later. However, most shelters will allow you to return the animal if this happens. Most no kill shelters hire staff to run personality test on each animal. However, some of them will not take an animal back if it was bitten someone.
I’m not saying that you should or shouldn’t adopt from any shelter. Just keep an open mind when your searching to adopt. By adopting from a kill shelter, you are potentially saving that pets life but, never adopt for that reason alone. I went in search for a small female dog that was hairy so that I could dress her up, and ad bows to her fur. I ended up with a slick male, but my heart new he was the one even though there was plenty of dogs that matched what I had originally went to get. When you find the right one, you will know.